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PostPosted: Tue Jul 30, 2019 2:07 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:11 am
Posts: 8
Hi all, I'm going on a 2-week solo paddle on Lake Powell/Glen Canyon (LP/GC) starting next month. I'll be on my Klepper. The goal is to explore some of the slot canyons, hike, and just relax. I've done multiple overnight kayaking trips and longer self-supported backpacking stretches, but this will be my first time doing something so long with a kayak. In addition to phone calls and online research, I'm spending a full day in Page, AZ hoping to speak with folks about the trip, refining the rough itinerary, and just generally getting advice before I set out. I'd appreciate any and all advice from those of you with LP/GC experience. And if you're in or near Page and frequent LP, I'd love to meet!

My running list of questions right now are:

  • Are there currents on LP? Given LP/GC is just the Colorado River dammed up, I'm wondering if there are currents the further north from the dam you get. The National Park Service website warns of strong afternoon winds and flash flooding in the fall, but I haven't read anything about currents. In the videos I've seen the lake looks really serene. Is it really just a placid lake aside from the afternoon wind?
  • Are there any particular great slot canyons good for kayaking and camping?
  • Are there any slot canyons you would recommend avoiding as a kayaker?
  • How many miles of paddling do you think someone could rack up in a full day of paddling (let's say 6 hours of actual paddling for an average paddler)?
  • How bad are the "crowds" in the south? Will I be sharing beaches every night with a different party? Or will I be able to find some alone time? This video encapsulates everything I'd like to avoid on this particular trip :) : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrgpYA6_79I
  • Any books, maps, blogs, or other websites you recommend? I've devoured the National Park Service's website a few times already and spoken with a park ranger. I also picked up Michael Kelsey's "Boater's Guide to Lake Powell" and that's been helpful. The only drawback is the last edition was published in 2015, and I've read that the water levels have been changing quite a bit each year for the last few decades. So I'm not sure how accurate it will be to plan an itinerary around for 2019. I also have the North Star Mapping map on LP/GC. The map has no publication date on it though, and some of the land markers do not look current (in comparison to Google Maps).
  • Who locally should I be sharing my float plan and emergency contact info. with? The park ranger I spoke with said the Visitor Center in Page would be the best place to leave it locally, but the question caught her off guard and she didn't sound confident.
  • I've read that LP/GC is a no-waste zone and I need to use wag bags. Do I need to use wag bags for pee as well as poop? Those bags are $3 each! Multiple bathroom breaks over a 14-day period would really add up.
  • In general, how is radio reception in the slot canyons? I'll be monitoring weather with a VHF radio.
  • Are there any great local kayaking resources (people, businesses, park rangers, etc.) in Page I should connect with/talk to before setting out?
  • Any other general tips/advice?


Also, for those of you interested, here's a nice and short recent documentary of a crew exploring Glen Canyon from the Colorado River in the north down to Glen Canyon Dam. Looks like they were in some way sponsored or affiliated with National Geographic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o87zW2BWCUo

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 28, 2019 10:46 pm 
paddler

Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 2:21 pm
Posts: 5
Location: Arizona
Hi Kaace, Did you make the trip? I am curious as to what you learned and what you would recommend? I would like to paddle Lake Powell soon. Thanks!


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2019 11:07 pm 
paddler

Joined: Fri Nov 23, 2018 9:28 pm
Posts: 9
I have never kayaked LP, but we have spent several weeks at a time on the lake in our CDory. I’d recommend you order a Michael Kelsey’s Boating Lake Powell guide, and a copy of the Stan Jones map.

I prefer the upper portions of the lake, from Oak Canyon and up. Including the San Juan and Escalante Rivers. My preferred time to visit is late September and early to mid October. We launch at Bullfrog.

Some of the canyons have pump out stations with toilets, but you will want to have a wag bag system for most days on the water. A good water filter should keep you hydrated. Our last visit was September 2018, and I suspect it will be our final visit. The quagga mussel population has exploded, and the infestation is substantial. They are sharp, so good footwear is advised, and of course be cautious with the boat.

You’re still going to see a lost of boat traffic, much of it moving very fast. The canyon with rainbow bridge is VERY busy, and the wakes combined with vertical walls make it like being in a washing machine. I’d either avoid it, or paddle in/out at night. It’s just a few miles from Oak Canyon.

Fishing can be very good for striped bass and other warm water species. Jigs and spoons with a medium action spinning rod would be good for stripers, add some lures for smallies and largemouth if you’re interested in them.

So many of the canyons are spectacular it’s hard to pick a favorite.

Hope that helps

Steve


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